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Public Statements

Energy Policy Act Of 2005--Continued

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


ENERGY POLICY ACT OF 2005--Continued -- (Senate - June 21, 2005)

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Mr. OBAMA. Mr. President, I thank Senator Inhofe, Senator Reid, and Senator Domenici for allowing me this time.

I know DICK DURBIN. I serve with him in Illinois. We have traveled together through the byways and highways of our great State. I have rarely met someone with greater dedication to ordinary Americans, a stronger belief in the greatness of this Nation, or a more longstanding commitment to public service as an expression of that patriotism than DICK DURBIN.

This recent episode obviously has pained him a great deal because although I am new in the Senate, one of the things I am discovering is that we have a tendency, perhaps because we don't share as much time on the floor as we should, perhaps because our politics seem to be ginned up by interest groups and blogs and the Internet,

we have a tendency to demonize and jump on and make mockery of each other across the aisle. That is particularly pronounced when we make mistakes. Each and every one of us is going to make a mistake once in a while. We are going to say something unartful; we are going to say something that doesn't appropriately describe our intentions. And what we hope is that our track record of service, the scope of how we have operated and interacted with people, will override whatever particular mistake we make.

Senator Durbin has established himself as one of the people in this Chamber who cares deeply about our veterans and our troops. He hasn't just talked the talk, he has walked the walk. I have been distressed to see my partner from Illinois placed in the situation in which he has been placed. I am grateful he had the courage to stand up and acknowledge that he should have said what he said somewhat differently. But I am also grateful that people, such as the distinguished Senator from Arizona and others, recognize this for what it was--a simple misstatement--and that now we can move on to talk about the substance of the issues that are of legitimate concern to this body, including making certain that when we operate institutions such as those at Guantanamo, we hold the United States to that high standard that all of us expect.

I yield the floor.

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